Filipino restaurateurs In New Zealand were found guilty of exploitation of their fellow Filipino workers and were sentenced of imprisonment and detention.
Luisito and Virgil ‘Gie’ Balajadia, Filipino restaurateurs living with citizenship in New Zealand was jailed because of maltreatment complaints from their employees who are also Filipino.
The Auckland District Court found them guilty of two charges of exploitation under the Immigration Act of 2009 and five counts of providing false and misleading information.
This is following the complaint to the Philippine Consulate which came from a worker in the couple’s restaurant.
Based on the article published in rachfeed.com, the couple owns 3 Kings Food in Birkenhead, Auckland and they sponsored Filipinos to work in their establishment.
Since their offer sounded good with $16 per hour for workers with a minimum of 30 hours a week, more Filipinos were enticed by it.
However, in reality, the offer was just on paper.
One of the exploit workers revealed that they were forced to work 10 hours a day, six days a week and they were only paid for what is equivalent to 40 hours per week.
Another thing that added to their agony as a worker in a foreign land is that their salaries were not given on time.
The Pinoy worker who complained to the Philippine Consulate even said that he did not receive his salary for more than three months.
Furthermore, the worker said that he was living in the house of the Filipino couple and he was not allowed to leave. He was just sleeping in the garage with $150 rent every week. He also had to clean their house every Monday when the restaurant is close but he did not earn extra for that.
Virgil was sentenced with 26 months imprisonment and a fine of $2,700 while Luisito will serve his home detention for 8 months and fine with the same amount.
According to the judge, what the Filipino couple did can be likened to a modern-day slavery, based on the article.